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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jun 24, 2020

Holmdel’s Angie Chen Recognized for Work with New Jersey State Youth Orchestra

Community volunteers are often unsung heroes. Happily, however, that’s not the case with Holmdel resident Aiqiong “Angie” Chen. Chen, who has devoted many hours to helping the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra provide outstanding community music education, was recently recognized by the Morgan Stanley Foundation by a generous grant awarded on her behalf.

As an IT vice president who recently marked her 20-year work anniversary, Chen feels that career development and community service go hand in hand. Her employer, Morgan Stanley, has long been known for its emphasis on work-life balance and volunteerism. Through its efforts, communities around the world benefitted from hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours in 2019 alone. The Morgan Stanley Foundation also supports local nonprofits through its grant program. In many ways, the foundation and the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra are a natural fit.

For more than 40 years, the NJSYO has offered opportunities for young people to work with professional musicians and music educators. Chen’s experience with the NJSYO began when her son, Daniel Lin (trombone) joined the group. Daniel’s incredibly positive experience, combined with the warm welcome of the group’s musical directors, coaches and board, led his siblings, Benjamin (flute) and Jenna (violin), to join.

The Lin family

As Chen affirms, “Witnessing their growing interest in music, the touching and unforgettable performances, and the joy and satisfaction that audiences express, I am very glad that we made the decision.”

Chen also voiced her admiration for the NJSYO’s Board president Gayle Topper, calling her “one of the most dedicated board presidents” she has ever met, and Maestro Ben Ringer, “the most energetic music director” she has ever seen. Indeed, the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra could not run without a highly organized, enthusiastic team. Chen said she counts herself fortunate to work closely with them and has served as event flow manager, photographer and computer technician, among other important roles.

Community service seems to run in the family. Chen’s oldest son, Benjamin Lin, is currently offering free tutoring for beginner flute and piano students during this time when so many are stuck indoors.

Chen said she is grateful for the Morgan Stanley Foundation’s generous grant, which will support the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra’s further growth and, in turn, help it to serve more music-loving children and extend its outreach to more communities.